We are a family of four from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Yesterday (20 Dec-12-2006) I suddenly got a phonecall from a person (Dorian Wymiller) who was talking so loudly that I had to remove the hook from my ear. He asked for my partner. He was enthousiastic and screamed almost how incredibly lucky we were because we had won a Holiday Package from ASTAR from Tampa in the USA. He was almost unstoppable in mentioning all the "enormous" benefits that were waiting for us.
My partner also got a bit enthousiastic but then he came to the thing to what he was REALLY after : our creditcards !! At first I told him I was reluctant to give creditcard details over the phone as we had been taken for some horrible rides in the past. But he assured us it was safe, there was a security department and that it was safe.
I also didn't like the fact we had to pay (US $ 998 in advance) for winning a "price" ??!! I told him please send us the details first so we can think about it in a more relaxed atmosphere. But no he could not hold the ticket for more than an hour and we HAD to provide our creditcard number to take benefit of this ....
Knowing my creditcard had maxed out I finally give him that number (unfortunately) with the expirydate so the conversation could be terminated as I had an urgent appointment. But he tried to charge the card as we spoke and (luckily in the case) it declined. He reacted immediately : "Why didn't you want to give your number if it declines anyway, that's like robbing an empty house !
Do you have another creditcard I can try ?" I told him I had another one that was also maxed out. Well, he said, give it to me anyway maybe you will be "lucky" this time. Again I gave also this number and not surprisingly to me it also declined. He was amazed that I didn't have any resources to pay the US $ 998. I told him I really had to go now and gave him back to my partner.
My partner asked him to phone our daughter because she also had a creditcard. She was out and he phoned her on her cellphone. She absolutely refused to give her number and told him there wasn't enough credit on it anyway. After hearing that he cut off the conversation with her quite abruptly after trying having persuaded us for almost an hour to pay that US $ 998 !!!
After reading the nightmarish experiences of other people here with ASTAR Travel I am for the very first time very relieved that our creditcards declined in this particular case !!!
I am convinced right now that we would have been ripped off by ASTAR Travel solidly !
Extremely nasty to try to rob average people just before X-Mas !!